Gary Barlow proud of OBE

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Take That star Gary Barlow said he was “deeply proud” after returning to Buckingham Palace to be awarded his OBE by the Queen.

The 41-year-old X Factor judge, who has spent more than 20 years in the public eye, was given the title for services to the entertainment industry and to charity.

Barlow masterminded the triumphant Diamond Jubilee concert - staged at the Palace during a special bank holiday weekend in June - which featured a host of stars including Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney who played to a televised audience of millions.

The anthem Sing, co-written with Andrew Lloyd Webber, and featured at the Jubilee concert, topped the singles charts during the summer and his OBE was announced days later in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

As the creative force behind Take That between 1990 and 1996 and since they reformed in 2005, plus his solo success, Barlow has topped the singles charts 14 times and received five Ivor Novello awards for his song-writing.

Barlow declined to talk to reporters after his investiture, but in a statement said he had been surprised by the award of his OBE and that it “hadn’t seemed real until today”.

Last year, Barlow replaced Simon Cowell as a judge on the X factor.

His charity work includes gathering a team of celebrities to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2009 for Comic Relief and organising charity concerts for Children in Need in 2009 and 2011.

Earlier this month, Sir Elton John presented Barlow with the Music Industry Trust Award.

Previous winners of the award, which raised funds for Nordoff Robbins and The BRIT Performing Arts & Technology School, include Sir Elton and Kylie Minogue.

Today was not the first time the singer had been back to the palace since the Jubilee.

Last month, he joined celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and hundreds of others at a glittering Buckingham Palace reception hosted by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh for those who made the regional, national and international celebrations events to remember.